DoubleDogFarm
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There definitely are consequences we're seeing. Bt resistance is showing up and affecting organic growers who want to use it. Open pollinated crops like GMO beets are being pulled off (or are already pulled off) because the Bt toxin gene can spread from nearby Bt planted fields to organic producers nearby.

And there is something a little off about taking genes from bacteria and other plants and pretty much anything and sticking it in our crops. Let's call that the Jurassic Park effect. Giant dinosaurs may not come eat us, but there may be unforeseen consequences lurking.
I'm sorry, Politics are not allowed here. The topic is Mothra. :roll:

Eric

cynthia_h
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JZydowicz wrote:There definitely are consequences we're seeing. Bt resistance is showing up and affecting organic growers who want to use it. Open pollinated crops like GMO beets are being pulled off (or are already pulled off) because the Bt toxin gene can spread from nearby Bt planted fields to organic producers nearby.
From what little I've read, most of the action is in the other direction: organic farmer/grower finds that his/her crop is the object of litigation by the GMO farmer/grower due to "unauthorized use" of the GMO plant(s).

Do you have any specific articles you can point me to re. the GMO beets being pulled off [the market?] in favor of organic growers? *That* would be a switch!

Thank you.

Cynthia

JZydowicz
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https://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/14/business/14sugar.html?_r=1

https://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/12/01/01greenwire-judge-orders-destruction-of-genetically-modifi-66587.html

This happened pretty recently.

Although I agree, litigation tends to come from those with the money and the proprietary claims, namely Monsanto, Syngenta, etc.

cynthia_h
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Thank you. I read both articles.

I think the phrase that puzzled me was "open pollinated" in conjunction with "GMO beets." Most gardeners and (at least) small growers use "open pollinated" to refer to plants left in their natural state for pollinators--bees, other insects (e.g., dragonflies, butterflies, native bees), and birds--to fertilize. "Open pollinated" is often used to refer to varieties/cultivars that have not been hybridized; certain traditional--i.e., non-gene-spliced--forms of hybridization require careful control of pollination, so the plants are raised in protected circumstances, not in open fields.

The GMO sugar beet is Beta vulgaris, as are all varieties of chard and table beets (beetroot to our British and other English-speaking friends). One of the lawsuits in question was joined by organic farmers in the Willamette Valley of Oregon who were concerned that their chard and table-beet products (seeds and veggies, and perhaps other products as well), grown very near some GMO sugar beet fields, would be embargoed by export clients in countries with very strict anti-GMO regulations, thus endangering the growers' livelihoods.

No Bt corn, milkweed, or related crops were discussed in either suit, but closely related principles seem to have been involved.

Thank you again.

Cynthia

TZ -OH6
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For those non flowering crops it seems to only be a problem with the seed producing areas. GMO beet seed farms can't be near Swiss chard seed farms. It wouldn't make much difference to crop farmers. It seems like it would be pretty easy to regulate. Apply for a permit to grow seeds and argue that no nonGMO seeds farms within X miles are growing that same species plants.

JZydowicz
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Ah! My mistake, you guys are totally right. I think I heard a case about beets grown for seed or something.

All this stuff fascinates me. These are issues that people have never dealt with before...how do you regulate genetic modification? How do we decide if it's safe? Big, big questions that are, for the most part, being handled out of the public eye.

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rootsy
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One subject I have not seen mentioned on this thread is the mandated refuge crop that must be planted in a proportion to any Bt genetically altered crop.

This is to aid in keeping resistance low or to a minimum in targeted species.

In Bt corn the systemic Bt bacteria is used primarily to keep European Corn Borer and Corn Ear worm at bay. These worms are of the moth species. This is a big issue in sweet corn, particularly mid to late season varieties or plantings. Here in Michigan you can plan on seeing heavy ear worm infestation begin about mid August and really increase by the end of the month into September.

While home gardeners may not fret over worms when they pull the husk back, most retail outlets and customers purchasing the product (sweet corn) have little tolerance for finding a big fat worm in the ear. Heck I get the majority of market and roadside customers pulling husks back looking for worms.

For growers on a commercial scale, the alternative to non Bt corn generally is Warrior, or a generic form of such, applied at 7 day intervals from tassel emergence to harvest.

Good or bad, systemic Bt traits are here to stay and for commercial sweet corn growers are a real God send. If anything expect to see the offered varieties expand in the coming years.

One thing that most do not have to be concerned with is the use by the majority of small gardeners as most seed suppliers require a 25K seed count minimum purchase.

As a caveat, I do not grow Bt sweet corn.

DoubleDogFarm
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Good or bad, systemic Bt traits are here to stay and for commercial sweet corn growers are a real God send.
Except for the commercial growers who have lost everything. Bankruptcy. Being sued by Monsanto or similar for finding trace signs of the their GMO in uncontracted fields. Not having a contract with Monsanto.


Eric

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ozark_rocks
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rootsy wrote:
In Bt corn the systemic Bt bacteria is used primarily to keep European Corn Borer and Corn Ear worm at bay. These worms are of the moth species. This is a big issue in sweet corn, particularly mid to late season varieties or plantings. Here in Michigan you can plan on seeing heavy ear worm infestation begin about mid August and really increase by the end of the month into September.

While home gardeners may not fret over worms when they pull the husk back, most retail outlets and customers purchasing the product (sweet corn) have little tolerance for finding a big fat worm in the ear. Heck I get the majority of market and roadside customers pulling husks back looking for worms.
You are right, I don't worry too much about worms. Plantings made early, don't have the worm damage of later planting. Here in Arkansas my corn planted in March, is usually worm free, but what I plant late June through mid July , it is wormy.

I'd rather work with nature(by planting early), than alter my food source, and use gmo's.

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rootsy
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DoubleDogFarm wrote:
Good or bad, systemic Bt traits are here to stay and for commercial sweet corn growers are a real God send.
Except for the commercial growers who have lost everything. Bankruptcy. Being sued by Monsanto or similar for finding trace signs of the their GMO in uncontracted fields. Not having a contract with Monsanto.


Eric
I was speaking only on the subject of Bt sweet corn. I was not referring at any point to the good or bad of Monsanto and it's practices. The truth is genetic modification through pollen drift is not and will not be an issue with field or sweet corn. That battle ground is fought in the open pollinated arena of soybeans and canola.

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